Knowing that pre-season champions Pasig-Grindhouse Kings are beatable, the teams beefed up their lineups for the second leg of the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup.
The second leg will still take place at the SM Megamall Events Center. Games begin at 11:00am.
Gab Banal, who was part of Manila Gilas 3×3 in the 2018 FIBA 3×3 Challenger in Shanghai, has been penciled in by the Bacoor Strikers. The Strikers, who finished in eighth-place in the first leg, are slotted with the Carga Valenzuela Classic and the Vigan Baluarte Wolves in Pool C.
ANd it’s not just the Strikers who have made alterations to their lineup, as both Valenzuela and Vigan made adjustments as well.
Seeing the need for a big man, Valenzuela – who lost to eventual champions 1Bataan Risers in the semifinals during the first leg – replaced Carlo De Chavez with 6-foot-9 Mac Andaya.
“We know what we need to adjust heading into the second leg kasi nga, nag-small ball kami. Nag-work siya nung first round, pero nung semis nag-struggle kami,” said Valenzuela’s Paulo Hubalde. “I know Big Mac is going to be of big help to us sa depensa at may experience na siya.”
On the other hand, Vigan lined up Michael Acuna and Jojo Cunanan in lieu of JR Ongteco and playing-team owner Christian Singson.
The Pasay Voyagers, who ended up in fourth-place after the first leg, will have to go through the gauntlet in Pool D.
Besides having the veteran-laden San Juan Knights-Go for Gold – who replaced Mac Cardona for Mike Ayonayon this league – in their group, they will also have to go through a reloaded Marikina Shoemasters squad. Gerald Anderson was called up by Elvis Tolentino to replace JC Po.
Tenth-placed squad Quezon City-Zark’s Jawbreakers are also set to unveil their new acquisition in Ronnie Matias. The three-time PBA champion, who stands at 6-foot-4, replaced Bryan Santos.
Quezon City will be joined by the Pasig-Grindhouse Kings and Zamboanga Valientes MLV, who called up three-point specialist Ferdinand Lusdoc to replace ‘Tausug Hero’ Das Esa for this leg, in Pool B.
On paper, winners of the first leg 1Bataan Risers will have an easy road to the Final Four, as they are slotted with sixth-place Max4-Cebu Birada and 11th-ranked Bulacan Kuyas, who replaced James Martinez for Francis Abarcar.
But for Alvin Pasaol, they are not letting their triumph during the first leg get into their heads, vowing to work harder come Sunday.
“Sa amin, mas mag-work hard pa kami, mas galingan pa at doblehan pa ang effort,” the 6-foot-4 sensation out of UE declared.
Taking part in the Gameville Slam Dunk competition are NCAA Season 91 Slam Dunk king Jebb Bulawan, UP dunk artist Joe Gomez de Liano, and Zamboanga-based high-flyer Jurex Diaz.